Introduction: Building a Budget Desk
School is starting up soon and I was dying to get a desk big enough for my girlfriend and me to sit at (we hardly ever see each other during the semester and I thought that it would be nice for the two of us to do homework together) and yet small enough for our 400 sq.ft. apartment.
For this project, I only had my tip money to spend ($47 to be precise) and one day off this week.
Step 1: You Will Need... (about $24)
(2) 2 x 4s (mine came in 8ft lengths although you may want to get 1 more for a taller desk)
Hand Saw (small apartment, small tools)
1/2" Wood Screws or 1" nails
(2) Sawhorse Bracket kits (remember: each kit allows you to make one pair of legs)
Step 2: Assemble the Legs
The brackets are made so that the 2x4s slide right into place and can be secured with nails ( I used screws because they were all I had). That being said, cut your sawhorse legs to the desired height first, then secure them into the channels as shown below.
Next, cut a length of 2x4 (the length depends on what size door you chose) for the beam of each of the 2 sawhorses and fasten it into the bracket. Do this again for the other saw horse.
Step 3: Covering the Desk Top
For this side of the desk top, my girlfriend and I tore out our favorite images from an old typography textbook of mine and, using spray adhesive, glued down the images onto the table top as sort of a collage. (I snuck in a few reference images so that they are always handy right there on the table!)
To keep the images from eventually peeling up, I used several coats of clear gloss polycrylic to create a hard, protective surface that still allowed me to see the images. Th polycrylic was a little expensive at $17, but the graphics were free!
As an alternative, just a few coats of the polycrylic over the plain wood looks really nice too.
I was also able to find some cute contact paper at the dollar store. This can be colored to match the chairs or doodled on. This covering option cost me $2
Step 4: Enjoy the Desk!
I know I didn't attach the desk top to the sawhorses yet, but i wanted to be able to swap the table tops when we get bored with one side. The nice thing about this cheap little desk is that you can add things to it later, like a keyboard tray, cable organizers, and a pc tower caddy.